Ever herd the term “Nice Guy?”
It’s not a kind term. But Nice Guys (or Nice Gals or Nice Folx, because it’s NOT a gender issue, really) are not really kind.
They are nice. In fact, I’ve written about the NGs before: https://datingkinky.com/blog/love/notes-of-love-nice-guy-syndrome/
pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory.
Usually when people are referred to as nice, people are speaking to their pleasant nature, agreeable actions, a satisfactory performance.
But kind is a different beast entirely. It describes less about how people act and more about who they are.
having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.
The key in there is the word “nature,” that it’s part of them, their personality. Not specifically their actions. And the words friend, generous, and considerate reinforce that. Because they are thought processes. Way of being, rather than doing.
“Niceness” is often a result of social conditioning and expectations of how we should act, versus kindness being a part of who someone is. A caring that shows, even in seemingly not “nice” behaviors (like discussing the hard truths with a friend).
But what is being KIND?
And can you BE kind without knowing whether you are a kind person, overall? Can you increase your kindness factor?
I believe you can.
I believe it because I learned how to BE KIND, when I am not a naturally kind person. In fact, I’m a naturally snarky, kind of icky person, thanks to my neural network being a bit defective, LOL! But I wanted to be kind, because to me, that meant being more liked and getting more of what I wanted.
And I imagined how much easier life would be if every time I stepped outside you knew I’d be met with kindness, and if I saw the best in every person you met.
Lucky for me, I had a role model. My mother was kind. I thought she was a sucker for it, until long after her death. Now, I know better, and I value that lesson she taught me.
And now, I would say that I am kind more often than not. And it is becoming more a way of thinking for me than ever.
Here’s how I did it, in a few easy steps:
- Be kind to yourself. You’re doing so much better than you give yourself credit for. Truly. Even if you’re not yet kind, you want to be, and that matters (even if it’s for selfish reasons like my kindness was!).
- Be kind to everyone else, too. (Yes, even to the jerk who clearly cut in front of you in traffic.) No one really knows what the hell they’re doing or who they’re supposed to be. And it’s SO super easy to get wrapped up in our lives that we forget everyone else is dealing with stuff too.
And sometimes the simplest act of kindness can go a reeeeally long way.
Step 2 is the harder part, but we all have kindness in us, even when it’s unexpressed. And we can find it when we look.
✔️ Think of a compliment like, “I like their hair” in your head, then say it out loud. (And with NO expectations!)
✔️ Send a text to someone you know and simply let them know you’re thinking of them.
✔️ Ask a coworker if you can take a task off their plate (or better yet, just do it for them if you can!).
✔️ Buy someone’s lunch or coffee today.
✔️ Do something for YOU—because being kind means being kind to yourself too.
✔️ Know someone with a birthday or anniversary coming up? Grab a card, write something nice and send it off in the mail.
Whatever you can do to be a little extra nice throughout today, go for it! It becomes habitual, when done with sincerity and no expectations of return.
Yup. That’s key.
Because when you have expectations, your are being NICE. You are doing that for you, and what you hope to get out of it (even if it’s only someone not running screaming from you).
But if you do it for them (even though practicing the kindness is for you), without expectations of an immediate return on your kindness investment, it’s a different thing entirely.
And others can feel it. And they can tell the difference.
It’s the difference between:
✅ Wow! Your hair is gorgeous, love the colors!
❌ You have gorgeous hair, I bet it smells delicious. I bet you do, too. May I? lascivious wink
✅ I love your shoes. They are fabulous!
❌ Your shoes are sexy, may I kiss your feet?
✅ You are simply stunning, and radiate an amazing energy.
❌ You are stunning, I’d love to be at your feet.
✅ You have a way of making people smile, and I appreciate that about you.
❌ I love how you make me smile, maybe I can make you smile all night long.
✅ Your lips are really beautiful, especially when you smile.
❌ Your lips look so soft and fresh. May I kiss them?
Maybe a bit over-the top, but the ❌s are REAL examples from my life. The last one was my ex husband to-be. I thought he was cute, so it still worked, but damn. I was WAY more naive then (and not quite 19 yet). 🤦🏻♀️
What are your thoughts?
Do you even care about being kind? Does it matter to you when someone else is kind versus nice? Do you feel a difference when people attache expectations to their actions?